October 2019 Newsletter
Clear Creeks Project Is Expanding in 2020!
Earlier this month, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC) announced that we were awarded $200,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conduct a behavior change campaign to increase implementation of stormwater best management practices in the Loch Raven Reservoir area of Baltimore County. But what exactly does that mean?

It means we are able to expand our Clear Creeks Project , a citizen-based initiative that educates homeowners, businesses, and institutions on how to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution on their property, to a larger geographic area. Beginning in 2020, our Clear Creeks Project area will extend from Middle River up to Cockeysville! More people will qualify for our 50 - 80% discounts on Bay-Wise practices such as rain barrels and rain gardens. Stay tuned as we update our maps and website within the new year.

We will also triple our reforestation efforts in the Clear Creeks Project area with the expansion in the Loch Raven Reservoir area. This is an impressive feat considering that GVC volunteers have already planted over 7,800 native trees on 48 acres within the reservoir in the past decade! There is an urgent need to replace a dying white pine monoculture planted in the 1950's with diverse native deciduous trees. Peg Perry, GVC Program Director of Education and Restoration, shared her enthusiasm for the project: "I am so excited to continue restoring healthy forests in the Loch Raven Reservoir. In addition to planting native trees, we will be working with an Eagle Scout in spring 2020 to install bird boxes to further improve wildlife habitat. It is so rewarding for our volunteers, crew chiefs, and myself to restore healthy forests for our native wildlife, for cleaner drinking water, and for future generations to enjoy!"

GVC Executive Director Lou Etgen remarked that: "The NFWF funding enables the GVC to become more effective stewards of our lands and waters, providing the foundation needed to take our organization to the next level. The grant's emphasis on the Loch Raven watershed will also help us expand our network of community partners working towards clean water."

This grant was awarded through the  Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund  (CBSF), a partnership between National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (INSR Program) and Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG Program). Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Altria Group Restoring America’s Resources partnership. 
GVC Receives Capacity Building Grant
Another success! The GVC was also recently awarded a Chesapeake Bay Trust capacity building grant for approximately $15,200 ! Our Board of Directors and staff will use the Benevon Model to develop a financial plan to diversify and expand our unrestricted funding. This effort will help us become a more effective advocate for clean water and land in the Gunpowder watershed, as well as a leader within the local watershed group community.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust capacity grant is funded by the following partners: the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Program, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Get Ready for Stream Clean-Ups!
This fall, the GVC encourages everyone to take time to make our waterways BETTER ! Join us for our fall clean-up campaign, Better Waterways, on Saturday, November 23 at multiple locations within the watershed.

With assistance from over 10,000 volunteers, the GVC has removed over 240 tons of trash from streams and creeks in the Gunpowder watershed. We need YOUR help to continue the task of removing refuse that jeopardizes the health of our waterways and the animals that call them home.

This year we are trying a different approach to connecting volunteers to our Better Waterways stream clean-ups. We will be posting individual stream clean-ups on our online calendar of events. Each event will have the general location's name in its title (e.g. Stream Clean-Up: Cockeysville) to help identify where help is needed.

Volunteers are needed for the following events:
Upcoming Calendar of Events
Our fall tree planting events filled up quickly this year, but there are still plenty of opportunities to help our watershed's forests. Our Tree Maintenance volunteers will be working at Loch Raven Skeet and Trap Center through November 16th. Lend a hand and, better yet, bring a friend!
Saturday, October 26 : Tree Planting - Full!
Sunday, October 27 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, November 2 : Rain Garden workshop - Full!
Sunday, November 3: Tree Maintenance
Friday, November 8: Recycling Tour
Sunday, November 10 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, November 16 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, November 23 : Better Waterways
Make a Difference
What happens to your recycling once it is picked up from the curb? Find out on our FREE tour of the Baltimore County Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) on Friday, November 8th from 10 am - 11:30 am. Reserve your spot today!
Have you seen Baltimore County's latest Watershed Moments video about Pollution Detectives? You can always report a stream issue at the County's website . You can also be a part of the solution and become a GVC Stream Captain! Contact Darcy Herman for more information.
Congratulations to Charlie Conklin on his new position at Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, Vice President of Outreach ! This month he has been busy representing GVC at the Piney Grove UMC "Change the World" event and at Oregon Ridge Nature Center's speaker series.